My rights

How do you keep and exercise your rights

Performers in music or dance must, whenever they make a recording, fill in a SPEDIDAM recording session form which must be sent to the SPEDIDAM specifying the main intended use of the corresponding recording, identifying the performers and providing information on the works recorded. The performers must not transfer their rights by agreeing to sign other documents.

Signing the SPEDIDAM recording session form — to the exclusion of any other document — is the only way for performers to preserve their rights.

The SPEDIDAM can thus intervene on their behalf when the recording is used for any purpose other than the main intended use specified on the participation form (known as secondary use) and collect the corresponding royalties they are owed.

The recording session form is also an essential element for the distribution of fair remuneration and the remuneration for private copying.

Thus, the SPEDIDAM can identify the participation of performers in recordings that may have been broadcast or copied and pay the royalties for such use.

Besides, in the case of any unauthorised recording which may come to a performer’s attention, it is recommended, in order to inform the SPEDIDAM of this illegal recording, that the performer identifies himself along with all artists involved through a SPEDIDAM recording session form, specifying all information known on the user of this recording and not to tick any destination on the recording session form but simply state: Unauthorised recording: participation form established for the sole purpose of identification to the exclusion of any other licence for exploitation.

The SPEDIDAM does not hesitate to take legal action whenever acts are perpetrated in violation of performers’ rights.

If you are seeking information or wish to inform the SPEDIDAM of any unauthorised use of a recording, please contact the SPEDIDAM’s Legal Department by post or by e-mail at or by phone at +33 (0)1 44 18 58 82.

Exclusive rights

First, performers enjoy a moral right according to Article L. 212-2 of the Intellectual Property Code which provides that they have a right to respect for their name, statuts and performance.

This right may not be assigned and is transmitted to the performer’s heirs with no time limit.

Moreover, according to Article L 212-3 of the Intellectual Property Code and various European directives, performers also enjoy exclusive rights to authorise or forbid.

In compliance with this right, their written authorisation must be obtained prior to any fixation of their performance (recording of their live performance), the reproduction of this fixation, its rental, its distribution, its communication to the public and its provision to the public as part of an on-demand service.

When becoming a member of the SPEDIDAM, performers assign to the society their exclusive rights for secondary use of their recordings.

When a recording is made, the performers participating in the recording session must sign a SPEDIDAM recording session form by which they authorise the producer to use the recording of their performance in compliance with an initial, clearly defined purpose (commercial phonogram, or original film soundtrack, audiovisual broadcast, etc.) by ticking the appropriate (always only one) box.

By proceeding in this way, music performers do not transfer all their rights or relinquish them.

As a consequence, they are then entitled to receive the remunerations the SPEDIDAM has collected by delivering licences on the artists’ behalf for secondary uses of their initial recording.

For example, when a commercial phonogram is used as a soundtrack in a film, an advertisement or a music video, or is made available to the public on demand on the Internet, it is necessary to obtain the authorisation of the performers having participated in the recording of this commercial phonogram.

Similarly, when an original score is recorded to provide music for a film, the publication of this soundtrack in the form of a commercial phonogram or its use for advertising purposes, is submitted to the performers’ authorisation.

The use of recorded music in live performances also requires the performers’ authorisation.

Thus, the SPEDIDAM’s purpose is to deliver the necessary authorisations in the name and on behalf of the performers and to collect the corresponding remunerations for all secondary use of their recordings.

The sums collected by the SPEDIDAM are then distributed among the performers having participated in the recording.

Remuneration for private copying

The remuneration for private copying was instituted by Articles L. 311-1 ff. of the Intellectual Property Code to remunerate performers, authors and producers given the growing expansion of the copying of sound and audio-visual works by private individuals on blank media.
This remuneration is paid by manufacturers and importers of blank recording media.

The rates for the remuneration for private copying are set by a committee, chaired by senior magistrates and composed of representatives of rights holders, manufacturers and consumers.

In a decision dated 4 January 2001, this committee noted the rapid development of the media used for private copying and resolved to meet on a regular basis to take into account the developments in technology, media and forms of consumption by the public.

These remunerations are collected on behalf of rights holders by COPIE FRANCE (Society for the Collection and Distribution of the Remuneration for Private Copying).

COPIE FRANCE’s associates are the societies representing the three colleges of rights holders: performers, authors and producers. SPEDIDAM is a member of the Performing Artists’ College.

Pursuant to Article L. 311-7 of the Intellectual Property Code, the remuneration for Audio Private Copying is shared equally between authors and those entitled to neighbouring rights, who share it equally in turn, with one-quarter going to performers and one-quarter to producers.

The remuneration for Audio-visual Private Copying is shared with one-third going to authors, and the remaining two-thirds shared equally between the holders of neighbouring rights: one-third for performers and one-third for producers.

The remuneration going to the Performing Artists’ College represented by SPEDIDAM and ADAMI is allocated as follows:
– Audio Private copying: 50% SPEDIDAM + 50% ADAMI
– Audio-visual Private copying: 20% SPEDIDAM + 80% ADAMI

Distributions are made on the basis of the results of surveys by TNS-SOFRES and MÉDIAMÉTRIE-CSA also used by the other collective management societies.

Early in 2008, several organisations representing rights holders, including SPEDIDAM, founded the association, “La Culture avec la Copie Privée” (Culture with private copying), to better explain the benefit to be gained from remuneration for Private Copying and the freedom that it offers the public.

Equitable remuneration

‘Equitable Remuneration’ was instituted by Article L. 214-1 of the Intellectual Property Code for the benefit of musical performers and producers of phonograms published for commercial purposes when these phonograms are used in the following conditions:

  • direct communication in public places, provided that it is not used for the purposes of a live show (in which case it is necessary to obtain the written authorisation from the relevant performers)
  • broadcasting or simultaneous retransmission in full by cable of this broadcasting.

This remuneration is paid by users of commercial phonograms: broadcasters, discotheques, and more generally any public place with background music (restaurants, hotels, shops, etc.).

It should be specified that providing background music for a show and any non-simultaneous broadcast by cable of terrestrial programmes or own programmes remain subject to prior authorisation pursuant to exclusive rights.

The amount of this remuneration is fixed on the basis of user operating revenue in some cases, on a lump-sum basis in others.

The rates and terms of payment of equitable remuneration have been set by a committee chaired by senior magistrates and composed of representatives of rights holders and users.

This remuneration is collected by SPRÉ (Non-Trading Company for the Collection of Equitable Remuneration) (Société Civile pour la Perception de la Rémunération Equitable) on behalf of musical performers and commercial phonogram producers.

According to Article L.214-1 of the Intellectual Property Code, this remuneration is shared equally between performers and commercial phonograms producers.

Remuneration due to the Performing Artists’ College is split as follows: 50% for SPEDIDAM, 50% for ADAMI.

Distribution to rights holders is made on the basis of broadcast playlists provided by radio stations, sample of discotheques and by surveys for other music broadcasters.

It should be noted that, since a ruling by the Court of Cassation in November 2004, collections from television channels have ceased. Indeed, this jurisdiction considered that equitable remuneration for the broadcast of commercial phonograms not due when such recordings are included in audiovisual works, which is common for television programmes.

Besides, the French Intellectual Property Code does not provide the guarantees that should apply to performers according to the European directives to which France is committed. Thus, not only do television channels, though making massive uses of music, no longer pay this remuneration, but a certain number of other broadcasters have no obligation to pay equitable remuneration. This situation is heavily detrimental to performers and SPEDIDAM has repeatedly drawn the attention of lawmakers and the public authorities to this problem.